75 percent of voters favor strong Wall Street oversight

The financial reforms enacted in response to America's corporate financial meltdown - damage which still seems to be taking place in certain quarters, including JPMorgan - remain popular among Americans planning on voting in the upcoming election, according to a new poll.

And with this weekend marking the second anniversary of the Dodd Frank Act, which created the national Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, voters' feelings remain particularly attuned, even among voters of both political stripes.

Three out of four continue to back strong oversight of Wall Street, an opinion poll by Lake Research Partners finds. The poll was commissioned by groups including the AARP, the Center for Responsible Lending, Americans for Financial Reform and the National Council of La Raza.

Voters polled favored the Dodd Frank law by a 53-point margin (73-20), with support crossing party lines: Republicans in favor by a 20-point margin, Independents by a 50-point margin and Democrats by an 83 point margin.

Voters said they support the CFPB by a 40-point margin. Two-thirds (66 percent) of voters overall and 69 percent of independents agree that the CFPB is needed.

Two-thirds of voters - including 78 percent of Republicans - support a state’s right to pass and enforce stronger consumer protections and preventing federal law from overriding them.

“This poll shows that American voters broadly and strongly support both Wall Street reform and the CFPB,” said pollster David Mermin, partner, Lake Research Partners. “And they strongly favor specific components of the CFPB. After hearing arguments in support and in opposition, voters across party lines solidly favor the reform law.” 

Cristina Martin-Firvida, director, Financial Security and Consumer Affairs, AARP, said: “Before this law was enacted, too many older Americans lost their savings due to the failure of an outdated and compromised financial regulatory system. Two years later, this survey clearly demonstrates that the 50 plus population wants the protections afforded by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to be implemented and enforced, and that more accountability will be required to adequately protect their hard earned financial assets.”

Lisa Donner, executive director, Americans for Financial Reform, said: “The message for Congress is unmistakable: Voters across the board are intensely supportive of stronger consumer protections. Strong majorities of voters across party lines say we need tougher rules for Wall Street and they do not want Congress to override a state’s ability to enforce stronger consumer protections at the state level.”

Gary Kalman, director, Federal Policy, Center for Responsible Lending, said: “Bipartisan support among voters should be no surprise: Who hasn’t been hurt by the economic downturn?  People get that common sense oversight could have prevented it.”

Jose A. Garcia, policy fellow, Wealth-Building Policy Project, National Council of La Raza, said:  “Latino voters, regardless of party affiliation,  overwhelmingly support consumer protections as a means to ending decades of costly and deceptive credit that has disproportionally affected Latino families and the economic security of the Latino community."


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